The Shutt Velo Rapide Performance Jacket is for the coldest winter weather. It’s remarkably warm and hasn’t been worn on top of anything more than a long sleeve base layer during the course of our test.
On the other hand, that level of warmth means we’ve found ourselves prone to overheating when wearing the Performance Jacket during what has been a mild winter – or when riding hard – and the fit doesn’t quite work for us.
The jacket is made from a three-layer, bonded fabric from Swiss firm Eschler which is billed as windproof, waterproof, breathable and insulating. Windproof and insulating it most certainly is. This is the type of heavy duty jacket that will leave you with few excuses not to ride on a freezing cold morning. It’s a proper winter jacket and its bulk dictates that it’s one to wear for the duration of a ride, as opposed to a lighter shell which you’re able to put on and off as the conditions dictate.
The fabric, which has a windproof outer layer and a fleece-lined interior, is remarkable in its ability to keep the wind out and lock warmth in. That’s its strength as well as its weakness and we found ourselves getting too warm quite quickly when on a hilly ride (which comes with an inevitable ebb and flow of effort) or riding at a high intensity. We’d normally prefer to be too hot than too cold, but the Performance Jacket isn’t the type of piece you’d wear as part of a layering system which you can adjust according to the conditions.
The fabric itself is rated as waterproof but Shutt hold their hands up and say the jacket as a whole can’t be deemed as such as the seams are not taped. This, they say, is due to the fleece lining and, as a result, a technical limitation, rather than an oversight on their part or to cut costs. Shutt have also sought to boost the jacket’s ability to keep out bad weather by covering the full-length zip with a velcro storm flap and by providing a snug fit on the cuffs.
We set out for a two-hour ride in persistent rain to see how well the jacket copes and it does a decent job at keeping water out. No water got in for the first 45 minutes, after which the fabric began to feel damp on the sleeves and underarms. That feeling grew but we remained pretty dry underneath for the duration, however, if on a long ride with the threat of continuous rain then we’d reach for a waterproof shell.
The jacket is black almost in its entirety but there’s plenty of subtle and well-placed reflective detail (on the front and rear of the shoulders, the arms, and above and below the rear pockets). Other features include two large rear pockets, comfortably big enough to carry any winter riding essentials, and an additional zipped pocket for valuables.
Shutt is a British brand and the Northamptonshire-based company’s clothing is cut for British riders. That is to say the fit is a more generous than clothing from European brands and we typically have to move down a size. That’s been the case with the Performance Jacket. We initially tried a medium, which was significantly too big around the body and then switched to a small (the smallest size Shutt do).
The flip side is that the jacket is a centimetre or two too short on the arms – not fatally so but it’s noticeable when on the bike – and too tight on the neck in order to do the zip all the way up to take advantage of the high collar. The generous cut might work for some riders but it’s not right for us.
The Shutt Velo Rapide Performance Jacket is at its best in cold, dry conditions on long, steady rides and has enough about it to stave off a shower or two.
It’s a jacket for hardy riders prepared to ride in very cold conditions and has its limitations when the weather is kinder. The fit won’t work for everyone.
Website: Shutt Velo Rapide